Zimbabwe’s military capabilities have been brought under the spotlight in Russia, where it is competing against 30 other countries at this year’s edition of the International Army Games. The games are being hosted at the Alabino training range as part of the 8th edition of the games.
The Zimbabwe team is participating in the games for the first time in two years. Zimbabwe National Army’s (ZNA) Crew recently competed in the tank biathlon which involves military tanks moving across a field and taking out targets set tens of metres away through its barrel or fume extractor.
The ZNA Crew 1 in Division 2 competed against Iran, South Ossetia and Mali in the tank biathlon and took almost double the time taken by the other three teams. According to CNW, there was a crash at the tank biathlon on Sunday morning as the Iranian crew crashed into the Zimbabwe crewed tank, forcing them off the track.
Then the Zimbabwean team had to be assisted by the Russians after it failed to communicate with its commanders on their last lap. Said CNW: And there was another technical fault in the race as the Zimbabwe team was unable to communicate with their commanders/spotters which resulted in a Russian technician having to fix the problem on their last lap.
Commenting on the development, journalist Hopewell Chon’ono said this should be a wake-up call for the army to focus on military issues and not politics. Chin’ono wrote on Facebook:
Our boys in uniform continue to do badly at the army games in Russia according to the latest update. This shouldn’t surprise us because when the politics of a country is wrong, and the State is parasitic, nothing will ever work. I would have liked our boys to do well at these games because it would have spoken into how safe we are in the face of aggression.
I believe that the Zimbabwean army would have done well with the right training and focus. I hope this is a wake-up call to all concerned that our army needs to focus on military issues and not politics! The political crooks use the army to shoot at unarmed civilians and to instil fear into the opposition, yet here we are, it is failing to deliver on army things.
The State media is quiet because there is nothing uplifting to report about, and the irony of using the army against unarmed civilians must be weighing heavily on all concerned!